For how long Kashmiris will suffer

জম্মুতে কাশ্মীরিদের গাড়ি ভাঙচুর করা হচ্ছে
A car belonging to a Kashmiri Muslim is attacked in Jammu. Image credit: Hindustan Times

Aijaz Ahmad Turrey  20 February 2019

On Thursday14 February 2019, a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) convoy was moving from Jammu to Srinagar was for the first time attacked by a suicide bomber with an explosive laden vehicle near Awantipora, Pulwama Kashmir. The attack resulted in the death of 49 CRPF personnel. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attack has been condemned by every individual and community living in the country. But the aftermath consequences seem to be worsening the already disturbed situation as a particular community, Kashmiri is being targeted in every corner of the country especially in the north.

At least 15-20 female students from the Valley have locked themselves in one of the hostel rooms in Dehradun after a mob surrounded the hostel. This incident happened a day after 12 students from Kashmir were thrashed in Dehradun by members of right-wing groups including Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The fearful mob with sticks and stones are calling them traitors and asking for apologies. The girls are much scared as slogans like ‘Hindustan ke gaddaron ko goli maro (Shoot the traitors of the country)’ are being continuously raised.

Thursday’s militant attack in Pulwama has triggered violence in the Jammu region, with mobs torching vehicles and attacking Kashmiri Muslims staying there. According to the police, at least 12 persons were injured in the violence. The protestors damaged nearly 80 vehicles, torching eight of them. The Darbar move (non-secretariat) employees federation on Saturday threatened to return to Kashmir if the government didn’t take measures to ensure their safety in Jammu. State president of the association, Owais Wani said that their families were not safe in Jammu as the quarters provided by estates department were facing attacks by miscreants in Jammu. Over 5000 Kashmiris including women and children have taken refuge at Makah Masjid Iqbal Market at Bhatandi. Some locals from Jammu assisted by police visited different hotels and rented accommodations to move Kashmiris to safer place.

With sentiments riding high against terrorist attacks in Kashmir, over 100 Kashmiri students living in rented accommodations in Haryana’s Mullana village have been forced to leave after the district panchayat asked villagers to evict them. The village sarpanch issued an ultimatum to PG (paying guest) owners to oust Kashmiri students from accommodations within 24 hours. With tension mounting in the village, the Haryana Police are keeping a close watch and have assured Kashmiri students about safety. Though the authorities have asked students to return to respective PG accommodations, the students have chosen to remain inside the campus for around four days.

Videos are also coming from Bihar showing Kashmiris facing communal backlash. A group of Hindu right-wing activists flinging out the stock of garment sellers while threatening them to leave the state within 24 hours or be prepared to face the consequences can be clearly seen in the video. When a woman, apparently a local, objects to the behaviour of the mob, she is told that 45 CRPF men have been killed in Kashmir and Kashmiris will have to face the consequences.

Kashmiris are under scanner in every part of the country. Why they are being asked to vacate as soon as possible? Why the anti-national slogans like “Desh Kay Ghadharo Ko, Goli Maro Salun Ko” are being raised against them? What is their crime? The questions should be raised as it is affecting the national integrity badly. This communal and ethnicity-based violence is dividing people. They are also the citizens of the country, they also have feelings and should be treated well like they do with 10 lakh in-migrants from different parts of the country.

The J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar on Saturday appealed to the International Community including the United Nations, Amnesty International, Asia Watch, other human rights organizations of the world and members of Indian Civil Society to come to the rescue of the people of Kashmir from the brutalities being inflicted on them by the “ruthless communal and fanatic forces of Jammu and other places of India.” Traders Association Lal Chowk, Srinagar called for Kashmir Band on Sunday against the ‘attack’ on Kashmiris outside the Valley. Din Mohammad, president of the association said that the shutdown call has been given jointly by KTMF (Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation) and KCCI (Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries) jointly. The Centre on Saturday asked all states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir living in their areas in the wake of threats to them in some parts of the country.

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